Student placement at Nutrition Australia

Nutrition Australia’s student placement program offers students the opportunity to gain insight into the daily operation of a non-government, non-profit community health organisation. In addition to meeting course requirements, students who undertake placements at Nutrition Australia can use the experience and skills gained to further their career opportunities and to improve their chances of gaining entry into higher-level tertiary studies.

Student placements are available to those undertaking a range of courses, including those related to nutrition, dietetics, health promotion and public health.
 
Please note that student placements are only accepted as part of a university course, generally to satisfy a specific subject’s requirements. Students who wish to undertake a placement with Nutrition Australia should liaise directly with their university.
 
Student placements with Nutrition Australia are subject to availability.
 
Student testimonies
Marie Walters – Nutrition Australia Student: April – December 2011
Project: 2011 National Nutrition Week Competition
 

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Health Promotion through Central Queensland University and joined Nutrition Australia’s Vic Division to undertake my third year practical industry placement. The aim of the placement was to gain experience in the planning, implementation and evaluation of a health promotion project.  

My role at Nutrition Australia was to coordinate the 2011 National Nutrition Week Competition to find Australia’s Healthiest School Lunch.  The competition aimed to help Aussie school kids understand what makes a healthy lunch, why it’s important for them to eat a healthy lunch, and to get them involved in preparing their healthy lunch.
 
The project required careful planning, especially in its developmental stage to ensure that as many school children as possible were given the opportunity to participate. I was required to drive the development of all the project strategies. For example, I liaised with Nutrition Australia staff to determine how best to structure and promote the competition, developed a comprehensive media and communications plan, wrote material for the Nutrition Australia website and developed a comprehensive database of key stakeholders.
 
My role also involved liaising with education departments, Nutrition Australia partners, prize sponsors, an external public relations company and lawyers and I was required to manage these relationships to ensure the needs of all were met throughout the course of the project.
 
This role has given me a great insight into the broad range of stakeholders involved in childhood nutrition. It has also given me the opportunity to work with and draw on the knowledge and experience of Nutrition Australia staff both in Victoria and around Australia. Under clear direction and supervision, I also enjoyed a degree of autonomy and was given the opportunity to co-ordinate a small team of Nutrition Australia volunteers. 
 
Health Promotion is my second career and throughout this project I was supported to draw on experience from previous employment roles.

 
Kristine O’Sullivan- Nutrition Australia Student 2011
Project: Nutrition Information and Education in NSW Childcare Centres
 

I am currently working as a private practice dietitian for two companies and also work in the student clinic at the Queensland University of Technology. My placement at Nutrition Australia was organised through the University of Canberra.

My placement with Nutrition Australia involved working with a team of students to create a presentation for a mothers group, which was then to be adapted and used to teach childcare centre staff about nutrition for toddlers. The second aspect of the project involved developing 12 issues of ‘Toddler Bites’, a newsletter for childcare centres with a focus on toddler health and common issues concerning parents of pre-schoolers.
 
As part of the project we were required to investigate common nutrition problems for toddlers by completing a literature review, and to use the findings to design, implement and evaluate the group education sessions. We then developed a PowerPoint presentation and created props to use in the presentation.

This project broadened my knowledge in the area of toddler nutrition and opened my eyes to common issues of concern for parents, particularly regarding fussy eating and healthy snack choices. I have gained valuable knowledge about food products for kids and consolidated my knowledge of healthy serving sizes for children, food allergies and childhood obesity. Through this project I also learned how to use Microsoft Publisher to design nutrition information resources.

I thoroughly enjoyed my placement with Nutrition Australia and would highly recommend it to any Nutrition/Dietetics students. My supervisors were fantastic and a pleasure to work for.